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They Came to Cordura (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 1959 (UK)
An army major, himself guilty of cowardice, is asked to recommended soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Mexican Border Incursion of 1916.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Major Thomas Thorn
...
Adelaide Geary
...
Sgt.John Chawk
...
Lt. William Fowler
...
Cpl. Milo Trubee
...
Pvt. Andrew Hetherington
...
Pvt. Renziehausen
...
Colonel Rogers
Carlos Romero ...
Arreaga
...
Capt. Paltz (as James Bannon)
...
Colonel DeRose
Maurice Jara ...
Mexican Federale
Sam Buffington ...
1st Correspondent
Arthur Hanson ...
2nd Correspondent
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Storyline

After a cavalry charge during the 1916 U.S. "war against Pancho Villa," unheroic awards officer Tom Thorn (who is obsessed with the nature of courage) recommends 4 men for the Medal of Honor. He is ordered back to Cordura with them...and prisoner Adelaide Geary, gringo who sheltered the enemy. On the arduous journey, Thorn's heroes show a different face, and Thorn may have one last chance to prove he's no coward. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Slashing Story of a Desert Warrior Who Fought His Way From HELL TO GLORY !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Héroes de barro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 1960 interview John Wayne criticized this film and Montgomery Clift's Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), both of which treated homosexuality (in this film because of an implied homosexual relationship between the characters played by Gary Cooper and Tab Hunter), as "poison polluting Hollywood's moral bloodstream." The latter, he said, was "too disgusting even for discussion." See more »

Goofs

One of the soldiers is singing the folk song Denver, which was written by Randy Sparks for the New Christy Minstrels in 1962. the movie is set in the Mexican Wars in 1916. See more »

Quotes

Adelaide Geary: One act of cowardice doesn't make a man a coward forever, just as one act of bravery doesn't make a man a hero forever.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

On the night of March 8th, 1916, a large mounted force of Mexican rebels under Pancho Villa crossed the American Border and attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing and wounding both American civilians and soldiers.

As a result of this action,the United States Army sent an expedition into Mexico with orders to capture Villa and disperse his forces.

It was during this campaign that one man, an United States Army officer,was forced to come face to face with two of the great fundamental questions that affect mankind:

What Is Courage? What Is Cowardice?

This is the story of his search for an answer. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode dated 18 October 1959 (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watchable adventure epic, not so arresting as was intended but quite professional...

Due to showing cowardice in battle, Major Thomas Thorn (Gary Cooper) has been assigned the degrading task of "Awards Officer" to the Mexican expedition of 1916 against Pancho Villa...

Thorn witnesses the U.S. Army attack on a ranch house which results in an American victory, and selects five men as candidates for the Congressional Medal of Honor...

Since Washington wants heroes in a hurry, for a World War I recruiting campaign, Thorn has to guide these men through the perilous border country to the 'out of danger' base at Cordura...

Since Villa's men were given shelter in the ranch house of the beautiful Adelaide Geary (Rita Hayworth), she is accused of treason and is forced to accompany the men on their difficult journey...

Before the seven get to the Texas border town, the five heroes are given ample time to show their true colors (cheats, thieves, rapists and murderers) and Cooper (always under great danger) discovers, far from crossfire, their true characters... Thorn also discovers that he has respect and affection for his prisoner...

Rita Hayworth seems, on screen, to be a woman who has seen too much, lived too hard… There are circles under her eyes now, and an indefinable sadness about her presence… But she remains more delicious than ever… She had been the greatest girl of them all, a living summary of all our sexy, dreamy ideals… Now she is a reminder, for an aging generation, of the generous visions of youth… In "They Came to Cordura," Rita gives the best performance of her career as the shady lady surrounded by six men, substituting acting for sex and glamor...


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